Sunday, 17 February 2008

Domino Update: Unexpected Consequences #1

A propos of the Enron Dominos piece below, Jeremy Jacobs asked in the Comments:

why so negative Nick?

Answer: it’s how I see things for the medium-term – and I write about it because I tremble for individuals and families who aren’t prepared.

Here's an example: the Los Angeles Daily News reports that there has been a 40% rise in West Nile disease in California, caused by “mosquitoes breeding furiously in the foetid water of untouched swimming pools: people unable to keep up their repayments on sub-prime mortgages have simply walked away from thousands of houses, leaving them neglected while the slow process of foreclosure plays out.”

From finance meltdown to public health problems in just a few weeks … even in California. Am I being negative ?



Old BE said...

One thing I don't "get" with the US mortgage crisis is that many foreclosed houses are simply being abandoned and in some cities knocked down. Surely this won't be repeated here due to the overall relative shortage of housing?

Nick Drew said...

Bear in mind that many (most ?) US residential properties - including up-market houses - are made of wood and not intended to last for more than a few decades anyway

this is another important 'structural' difference between the 2 markets

CityUnslicker said...

there goes the neighbourhood.

Ed, as for would not happen here. it is exactly what John Prescott decided would make good government policy. knocking down houses to be replaced with council flats.

Genius, eh?

hatfield girl said...

There is a rising level of social disorder that is matching financial crack-up. In the south of Italy large and small settlements disappeared under uncleared rubbish; glorious Naples is still covered in bags of rotting garbage Further north, public buildings temporarily closed for refurbishment are over run by gangs of homeless, indigenous and immigrant, so that hospitals go from functioning state of the art institutions into nightmares of patients' records strewn through the corridors, expensive equipment trashed to make way for living quarters; these are hospitals closed briefly for deep cleansing and redecoration, now lost to the community.

The tide has reached to just south of Rome.

In the UK there are streets of housing burned out and worthless; shops and shopping centres that have been abandoned, vandalised.

Recession has a much wider than economic meaning.

Nick Drew said...

HG - a close acquaintance of mine lived in up-country Indonesia for many years: he tells me that during the worst of the financial meltdown in the Far East of the late '90s, there was reversion to cannibalism in remoter areas

the strength of the veneer will be tested severely

hatfield girl said...

Gives another twist to ' see Naples and die'.

(I was taught that cannibalism is a ritual rather than functional act, but it's some time since reading about the Sarawak headhunters and their diversions).

Nick Drew said...

the revived bouts were not necessarily for nutritional purposes !

i don't know why i'm laughing

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